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Monday, December 4, 2023

Victoria ramps up testing efforts

Residents living in Victoria’s 10 COVID-restricted postcodes are being urged to get tested for this week – with new sites being set up as part of a massive effort to prevent further spread of the virus throughout the community.

In less than a week, teams have already knocked on 54,000 doors in high-risk areas to offer advice, testing information and in some cases, self-administered testing kits, which can be collected at a later date, Premier Daniel Andrews said.

“We have also processed more than 113,000 tests – thanks to Victorians who have done the right thing and helped to protect their families and their communities as we continue to fight this deadly virus,” the Premier said.

He said it was more important than ever for the over 300,000 Victorians living in the restricted postcodes to get tested, regardless of whether you have symptoms.

“None of us wanted to be here but now that we are, the best thing everyone in these restricted postcodes can do is follow the rules, get tested and help us get this under control.”

“This is a public health bushfire and just as we send firefighters to help our neighbours through summer, we are very grateful to other states and the Federal Government for their support now.”

He said teams of doorknockers will hit the streets in Maidstone, Broadmeadows and Albanvale tomorrow and Brunswick West on Thursday to continue community outreach efforts, going door-to-door to conduct mobile testing and ensure locals have the most up-to-date health advice.

A range of fixed, mobile and drive-through testing clinics are already located across the hotspot suburbs – with 22 sites up and running and more coming online every day.

While testing has already been available locally, the Government is standing up an additional 12 new sites to ensure there are dedicated testing locations in every postcode in coming days.

This afternoon testing sites will be up and running at Wingate Avenue Community Centre, Maribyrnong Community Centre, Fairbairn park pavilion in Ascot Vale, Niddrie Community Hub, Glenroy library and AG Gillen Oval. Further announcements will be made on new sites as they open.

Reinforcements are also on the way from interstate, with 30 clinical staff from South Australia arriving today to support community testing sites, while the Queensland Government will send 40 nurses to assist Victorian medical teams.

“The first group of Commonwealth public service workers will also hit the ground from tomorrow, joining our door knocking efforts across the hot zones,” the Premier said.

Minister for Health, Jenny Mikakos said the 10 ‘hot zone’ postcodes will be required to return to Stage 3 Stay at Home restrictions from 11:59pm tonight until at least 29 July.

“For anyone living in these locations, there will again only be four reasons to be out: shopping for food and supplies, care and caregiving, exercise, and study or work – if it can’t be done from home,” she said.

“The more cases we find the quicker we can isolate this deadly virus and prevent wider spread in the community and to the rest of Victoria.”

To find your nearest testing site visit coronavirus.vic.gov.au or call 1800 675 398.

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